Eversource Pulls Plug On Northern Pass After N.H. Supreme Court Rebuke

Jul 25, 2019

Supporters and opponents spent years following Northern Pass through the regulatory process.
Credit Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Eversource has officially pulled the plug on the Northern Pass transmission line.

The utility filed a notice with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission late Thursday, a spokesman says, “reflecting our conclusion that Northern Pass has unfortunately been brought to an end.”

The filing notifies shareholders that the company sees no way forward for its signature project, which it spent nearly a decade promoting.

The decision comes after the New Hampshire Supreme Court last week affirmed state regulators' rejection of the project.

Eversource says it spent $318 million trying to get the controversial power line built. Their SEC filing says they’re writing off about $200 million of that after taxes, equal to about 64 cents per share of the company’s stock.

A company spokesman says the write-off will have no direct effect on customers or electric rates.

Northern Pass would have brought Canadian hydropower to the New England power grid by way of the White Mountains. The project faced years of strenuous opposition from residents and nonprofits.

In a statement, Eversource says it still sees an urgent need for reliable renewable energy in New England. It says it will "continue working toward new, innovative solutions."

Northern Pass was the original choice for a big renewable power deal in Massachusetts. As the Eversource project stalled, the Bay State turned to a similar project in Maine that's still awaiting final approvals.